I’m pretty sure most social media/networking is bullshit

A twitter acquaintance of mine Brandon Mendelson wrote a whole book about how bullshit twitter, facebook and the like are, so read his book instead of this post. I’m sure it has statistics.

Still here?

Okay, you’re bound and determined to read this post. Fine, I’ll write it out…

While I think there is some merit and use to social media, I think it’s grossly exaggerated. The largest problem is that most people that use twitter or facebook are in full out broadcast mode. With the exception of a circle of friends, most people won’t interact with the people that they follow or are following them. A large number of people still direct message “famous” people thinking that they’ll actually get a response. They won’t. I mean, sometimes you will. There are some really cool people out there that will take the time to answer a fan from time to time over twitter, but honestly most of the time they’re too busy working or enjoying their non-twitter existence to reply to everyone. This basic fact ensures that they are also in broadcast only mode.

Seriously, I don’t expect someone like Simon Pegg to reply to me when I drone on how much I like Spaced. I hope he sees it and knows I appreciate his work, but I don’t expect a reply. If someone like him took the time to reply to every tweet, I’m sure he would be left with almost no time to make the very content we love.

But I am getting off the point here…

Social media as a general rule is bullshit. Twitter is about the digital equivalent to a giant warehouse where everyone is standing on a soapbox, yelling at everyone else in the warehouse who also happens to be standing on soapboxes yelling at the top of their lungs. The only difference between all these people is some of them have taller soap boxes and in a rare case or two, a bullhorn. Everyone is too busy shouting about how they ate toast this morning or how the new Superman costume is shit to even hear what anyone else is saying.

Many people follow others out of a strange sense of obligation, myself included. There are people I follow professionally because I feel like I have to, and then there are people I follow because I want to. Sometimes it’s not even a feeling of professional obligation. For example, I followed Felicia Day for years on Twitter. Now I like Ms. Day’s work and haven’t a negative opinion of her at all. As far as I can tell, she is a great person. I want to make it clear I am not saying anything negative about her or her character. We’re clear? Okay. Well a few months I stopped following her. I noticed more and more that I really wasn’t interested in a lot of the stuff she was tweeting. Not to say it was crap, but it just wasn’t stuff I personally really cared about. Then it hit me, I’m following a person that isn’t really enriching my life. Sure she might tweet a cool link from time to time, but 90% of the time it had already been tweeted by one of my friends or I saw it on a message board long before that. So with no malicious intent, I unfollowed her. Neither of us seemed to notice a difference and life went on.

Here’s a music video to break up this post because I’m really going to shift gears here and I think you’ve earned a break;

A short time ago (or maybe a long time ago, my perception of time is more or less non-existent) I was a co-host on a podcast. We had a special guest on. Not going to use names because I really don’t want to hurt their feelings. Odds are they will never read this anyways, but all the same I’m not trying to be a jerk about this. I’m just stating facts. Anyways, we had a guest. I was very excited about said guest because they had quite a few twitter followers, had been on TV and was known to have a respectable online presence.

In my mind this was a possible “this is it” moment. That time when everything changes and things start looking up. I figured even if only a fourth of this person’s twitter followers tuned into the episode we could double or triple our typical downloads in a week. Honestly, it might have been even more but I can’t remember the exact numbers. Regardless, they had way more twitter followers than we had listeners. So we record the show. It was okay. Wasn’t a terrible show, but it wasn’t great. I enjoyed myself. I mix the show, we do all the proper “Guess who’s on this week???” build up. They tweet and post about it on their website. and….

Nothing.

We seriously had no increase in listeners. If I remember correctly, we actually had less listeners than the episode before. Now let me be clear, if they even started to listen to the show it would have counted as a download. Even a second of the show would have counted as a download. So for all the thousands of followers this person had, none of them could be bothered to click on a link to listen to the person on our show. And I do mean thousands. That is a terrible ratio. If you have literally thousands of “followers” and not even 50 of them will click on a link to listen to a podcast you guest starred on?

And that’s the hard cold truth about social media. A majority of the people on twitter, facebook and the like just don’t give a shit about what you have to say.

The cruel irony of this post is the ten people or so that actually read it will have most likely came here via twitter. If that’s the case, you’re one of the true heroes. That or my cursing in the title got your attention. Or maybe you’re one of those social media types that think I’m wrong and only clicked on the link in order to tell me how wrong I am. If you are one of those people, odds are you won’t even read this sentence and will skip straight to the “reply” button. You’re not a hero.

Oh yeah, also… if people say nice things about you, you really don’t need to retweet them. It makes you seem like a douchebag people.

2 Comments

  1. LightlybowNo Gravatar
    Posted August 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I completely agree. Sites like Twitter are no place to be heard.

  2. YeshaNo Gravatar
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I completely agree with you. But when I point it out people tend to lable me as an “unsocial” jerk for saying it. Glad I’m not alone:)

Say something... I dare you.